Archive | Tech

Please Don’t Show My Passport Information Publicly! [Vietnam Marketing Tactics]

Studying abroad is a big business in Vietnam – plenty of affluent Vietnamese parents want the best for their children, and they’re willing to pay for it as well.

Along with that however, there isn’t much awareness about information privacy and identity protection. Marketing firms constantly run online activities in which they ask users to publicly comment with their street address, government-issued ID number, and phone number.

In general, Vietnamese people don’t quite understand the negative risks of identity theft, nor do marketers respect their user base and try to avoid putting their audience in a bad position.

New Ocean Group (Du Hoc New Zealand) is a particularly bad example of this. They help students study abroad, and they advertise their success cases on their website.

The problem is that they scanned the passports of their students and shared them publicly. To see what I mean, see:

You can see the person’s full name, ID number, and even passport number. You have enough information to make your own ID based off of it. Worst of all, it’s not just the one person. There’s an image gallery of other “proof” that the company does its job well, including images of the student visas. No information is blocked out to protect the students or family clients.

If you know this type of information, there’s potential from other types of crimes as well. After all, if a student is studying abroad, you can imagine that his family has some money.

I emailed this company one week ago to let them know about this issue, but they did not reply or remove the information – [email protected]. I hope that this article helps them understand the problem, but I expect to be ignored.

My hope is that the students who are going abroad learn that this is a significant problem and ask the company to remove their images.


Mimo Television Commercials has been getting a lot of press and exposure recently – I have a close relationship with their team, so it’s pretty exciting for me to see as well.

Here’s a few of the television commercials that have been running for them: (oh, and this is me on Mimo)

Mimo TVC Starring Ho Ngoc Ha, Vietnam’s top star:

YANTV (the MTV of Vietnam, even though MTV is IN Vietnam) Mimo Commericial:

Another commercial featuring YANTV stars such as VJs Tam Tit and Thien Trang:


I Love Spambots

As placed on my most popular article, which was stolen (but credited) from Tuoi Tre: (

Spam Content
I like the idea of a Ms. Buena (spam robot) who finds my prostitution post very useful and also happens to be from a Tijuana website of the same subject (persuasion? tilt? what is the word I need?).

New comment on your post “Finding Prostitutes in Vietnam (Thank You Tuoi Tre)”

Author : Cindy Buena (IP: ,

E-mail : [email protected]


Whois :



This is an informative article of how things are. Many men find Vietnam Girls as the most pretty of Asian girls. Thx CB

I deleted this spam post, of course, but it can live here forever for the Google Indexing Robot. So I guess the spam was successful after all.


Amazon Kindle 4 vs Kindle 3 Keyboard in 750 Words [Review]

As mentioned before, I am a big Kindle fan. It’s a great accelerant (made-up word) for reading in that you can carry many books at one, it has a small form factor, and it is ultra convenient to use.

It made me a better reader.

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A few weeks ago, I swapped my Kindle 3 Keyboard for a Kindle 4 (Ad-supported, no 3G, no keyboard). I initially planned to get the Kindle Touch, but it seemed slow when I tried it in person, and I didn’t really feel the need to have a touch screen. At the same time, I really liked my Kindle 3 and didn’t know if going to Kindle 4 was really an upgrade, particularly after seeing mixed reviews on both the Touch and Kindle 4.

I’ll address those points about the Kindle 4 right now in this quick product comparison:

  1. The Kindle 4 is much faster than a Kindle 3 in terms of page turning. Overall, the device is much more responsive in all areas, and you can tell so very easily.
  2. The missing keyboard makes no practical difference unless you regularly write notes in your books. I do not; I do highlight however, which is just as easy to do as it was before. Even when you do type, the faster response time of the device makes things pretty ok.
  3. The ads in the Kindle don’t matter. This is coming from someone who is used to no ads on the Kindle 3. They don’t in any way bother or affect my experience with the device. If they affect you, you can always pay $30 to drop the ads.
  4. The Kindle 3 is a great size. When you look and feel it without a case, it’s very light, in a positive way. The Kindle 4 is even smaller and lighter, without affecting your ability to hold or use the device. The screen size is the same, so you’re not sacrificing reading area either.
  5. There are some complaints about how the screen is worse on the 4 versus the 3. This is likely true. If you look closely at the 4, words can start to look a little pixelated. There’s also some ghosting (not sure if the right word). Imagine when you put up a newspaper to a light, you can see some of the content from the other side seep through. That’s kind of what it looks like, but this doesn’t have any real impact on reading. If it is a problem, however, you can force the device to do a full refresh on each page turn so there is no residue from previous pages. This is something in which it sounds bad if you read reviews about it, but doesn’t matter much when you’re actually using it.
  6. Yes, there’s less memory (2 gb vs 4 gb) and no headphone jack on the newer Kindle. But based on my usage, I don’t expect to fill up even 1GB before I end up buying a new device in the years ahead. As much I like the idea of storing thousands of books on my Kindle, the reality is that is too many to 1) buy 2) actually read. I imagine that most users are more like me. I read a book every week or so at best, so 100 books is already 2 years worth. Most books I’ve seen are less than 1 MB, so that’s nearly 2,000 books worth of memory even for the Kindle 4. (You could easily download enough books to fill up the memory card, but could you actually read all of them?) I never use the Kindle for browsing online except for the Kindle store nor do I listen to music on it – I have better ways to do both.

And so, the Kindle 4 is great! Everything negative that I’ve read about it is technically true. But none of that really matters. It IS better than a Kindle 3, and at $79 for the ad-supported one, it is a must buy if you have any interest in an e-reader.

If you already have a Kindle 3, however, it’s not worth it to upgrade unless you can get someone to pay you $79, so you basically exchange your Kindle. Even though the Kindle 3 Keyboard is currently priced more than the 4, it’s worth a straight exchange.